Research and Development

The purpose of this tool is to catch crashes from OS X applications and print debugging information such as registers, disassembled code and a memory dump of the stack. The intended use is with the conjunction of an application fuzzer.

Key features

  • Catch OS X application’s crashes
  • Display CPU registers
  • Display disassembled code at the instruction that produced the crash
  • Display a part of the stack
  • Works transparently wether the application is 32 or 64 bits


The crash tool is a similar tool than the crash.exe tool from FileFuzz but for OS X. Used with an application fuzzer, it monitors the target application for exceptions.

It is written in C and it works on both x86 and x86_64 architectures. It uses the excellent BeaEngine to disassemble the code.


In order to install the tool, you’ll need to generate a developer certificate.

It can be done following those simple steps:

  1. Open Keychain
  2. Open menu Keychain Access/Certificate Assistant/Create a Certificate…
  3. Choose a name (codesigning-cert in the example).
  4. Set Identity Type to Self Signed Root.
  5. Set Certificate Type to Code Signing.
  6. Select the Let me override defaults.
  7. Click several times on Continue until you get to the Specify a Location For The Certificate screen, then set Keychain to System.
  8. Finally, using the contextual menu for the certificate, select Get Info, open the Trust item, and set Code Signing to Always Trust.
  9. You must quit Keychain Access application in order to use the certificate.

Then run the following commands:

$ make
gcc -Iinclude/ -Wall -pedantic -framework Security -sectcreate __TEXT __info_plist ./Info.plist BeaEngine.o crash.c -o crash
$ sudo make install
cp crash /usr/local/bin
chgrp procmod /usr/local/bin/crash
chmod 2755 /usr/local/bin/crash
codesign -s codesigning-cert /usr/local/bin/crash


$ ./crash 
Usage: crash [options] target arguments
  -t seconds        timeout (default: 5).

Using BeaEngine version 4.1-175.


# Define the amount of time the target program is allowed to live.
$ sudo ./crash -t 2 /usr/local/bin/dummy64 
[+] PID: 31273. Executing: /usr/local/bin/dummy64 
PID: 31273 (0x7a29)
[+] Timeout exceeded, exiting.

# Catching a crash from a 64 bits application.
$ sudo ./crash -t 2 /usr/local/bin/dummy64 1 0
[+] PID: 31282. Executing: /usr/local/bin/dummy64 1 0 
[+] Exception: unknown exception code 0xd.
[ RAX: 4141414141414141  RBX: 0000000000000000  RCX: 4242424242424242  RDX: ffffffffffffffff ]
[ RSI: 0000000000000000  RDI: 000000000000003c  RBP: 00007fff52359ef0  RSP: 00007fff52359eb0 ]
[ R08: 0000000000000000  R09: 0000000000000000  R10: 0000000000000001  R11: 00007fff76360250 ]
[ R12: 0000000000000000  R13: 0000000000000000  R14: 0000000000000000  R15: 0000000000000000 ]
[     CS: 002b      FS: 0000      GS: 0000      RIP: 000000010d8a6ed4    o d I t s Z a p C   ]

000000010d8a6ed4: mov        qword [rax], rcx
000000010d8a6ed7: mov         [rbp-0x18], 0x00000000
000000010d8a6ede: mov        eax,  [rbp-0x18]
000000010d8a6ee1: mov         [rbp-0x14], eax
000000010d8a6ee4: mov        eax,  [rbp-0x14]
000000010d8a6ee7: add        rsp, 0x40

00007fff52359eb0: 00007fff52359f38  8.5R....
00007fff52359eb0: 0000000000000000  ........
00007fff52359eb0: 0000000000000000  ........
00007fff52359eb0: 4141414141414141  AAAAAAAA
00007fff52359eb0: 0000000000000001  ........
00007fff52359eb0: 0000000000000000  ........
00007fff52359eb0: 00007fff52359f10  ..5R....
00007fff52359eb0: 000000036d4a705e  ^pJm....

# Catching a crash from a 32 bits application.
$ sudo ./crash -t 2 /usr/local/bin/dummy32 1 0
[+] PID: 31285. Executing: /usr/local/bin/dummy32 1 0 
[ EAX: 00000000  EBX: bff6df54  ECX: bff6de4c  EDX: 99ce68e6 ]
[ ESI: 00000000  EDI: 00000000  EBP: bff6df08  ESP: bff6ded0 ]
[ ES: 0023  CS: 001b  SS: 0023  DS: 0023  FS: 0000  GS: 000f ]
[ EIP: 00093f23                            o d I t S Z a P C ]

00093f23: mov         [0x41414141], 0x42424242
00093f2d: mov         [ebp-0x10], 0x00000000
00093f34: mov        eax,  [ebp-0x10]
00093f37: mov         [ebp-0x0C], eax
00093f3a: mov        eax,  [ebp-0x0C]
00093f3d: add        esp, 0x38

bff6ded0: 00000000  ....
bff6ded0: 0000000a  ....
bff6ded0: 8fe925ec  .%..
bff6ded0: 00093e5b  [>..
bff6ded0: 00000001  ....
bff6ded0: bff6df50  P...
bff6ded0: bff6df40  @...
bff6ded0: bff6df38  8...
Crash-1.0 Tar
December 17, 2013
Version: 1.0
253.3 KiB
MD5 hash: 53f1eb77dc8d1eeee38bc5da6cca25be

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